Resilient Mindsets in Medicine:
Starting Strong and Staying Strong  

56% of medical students and 50% of physicians are experiencing burnout. Click image to view full size. 

The mission of this AACOM program, funded by a $2.28M 3-year HRSA grant, is to ultimately improve the health of underserved and vulnerable populations by strengthening the healthcare workforce.

Today's Burnout Crisis & the OME Opportunity

Burnout among medical students and physician faculty across higher education institutions is a crisis that must be addressed and resolved. At each stage — medical school, residency, and clinical practice — rates of burnout and other symptoms of distress are higher than among their peers in the general US population. The health and well-being of our communities across this nation depends on it. 

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and its partner, Motivate Lab,  are uniquely positioned to address and remediate this persistent and growing crisis. The grant we have received from  the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will accelerate and extend our efforts to develop and implement nationally relevant and motivationally supportive learning communities, designed specifically for medical students and faculty, across the 37 medical colleges we represent, which currently train 26% of all current medical students. 

Stressed doctor leaning against a wall

Inproving Academic Performance with Learning Mindsets

What are Learning Mindsets? Learning Mindsets are a person's beliefs about learning and school.

Learning Mindsets have been shown to have significant effects on all students, but especially Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) students, in academic performance and retention. AACOM initially partnered with Motivate Lab to determine if the Learning Mindset theory would have the same impact on URiM students in Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (COMs) as we worked with member COMs to increase diversity in the applicant and student cohorts.

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Program Implementation

Be Part of the Solution

Program Development & Implementation

We have recruited four early-participation COMs to plan their involvement in the program. These COMs have committed to the following: 

  • Identify key faculty who will participate in the program development and implement the course using a “train the trainer” model.
  • Use the intervention with incoming students and allow the grant team to conduct periodic student and faculty measures (generally through survey instruments).
  • Provide aggregate retention and performance data to the grant team.

These four pilot COMs faculty and students will participate virtually in course planning sessions. 

All members of the HRSA Program Development and Implementation Group are invited to collaborate on the HRSA Development Team site hosted on AACOM’s Microsoft Teams. Download Team Site access instructions.

Near the end of the initial year, AACOM will be recruiting additional COMs for years 2 and 3 of the grant.

Advisory Committee

We are recruiting an Advisory Committee of Deans and experts in the following fields:

  • Wellness and resilience
  • Program planning and evaluation
  • Osteopathic Medical Education (OME)
  • Rural and primary care medicine

This Advisory Committee will be responsible for directing the strategic aspects of the project, such as selecting the measures of resilience, burnout and suicidal ideation, as well as ensuring the program scales with fidelity over the three-year period.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under HRSA-22-109, Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Training Program, totaling $2.28m with 0% financed with nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.